Telcodata Features


Sometime last month, ATIS decided to redact CLLI code information to help prevent terrorism. This is stupid. I’m not going to get into the why on that one, it just is. (Okay, fine – my house’s CLLI code is MDHGMIYW. (yes, that’s really the CLLI assigned to my house) – clearly, given that information, you know where my house is. Now you can conduct an act of terror. – oh, wait, you can’t? I wonder why… And let’s pretend that you do know where the clli codes map to – what difference does it make if you know that 248-351 is routed to SFLDMIMNDS0? Are you conducting a campaign of terror against a specific NPA/NXX? But I digress…).

Anyway, since I have no intention of removing the CLLI data on my own site, and this removal required me to spend time engineering a workaround, one that affected my ability to deliver updated files to my customers in a timely fashion, out of a mix of contempt and entrepreneurial whimsy, I’ve added a new set of files to the download section. These are formatted IDENTICALLY to the NANPA downloads from last month, except the Initial/Growth indicator is set to X, and the active date is undefined, because neither map to anything in my database.

I’ve placed them under our standard class, $5/mo download. It’s my little way of giving a knowing nod to those who were depending on this data to not suddenly change, especially for such a silly reason.

I have finally developed a low weight API running over UDP, with an intent similar to SS7’s TCAP, where you can do lightweight database queries for things like call routing.

Already implemented are as follows:

  • Qwest OCN Class (1-5)
  • SMS Lookup (does not look at LNP)
  • CNAM Lookup (real CNAM!)
  • City/State CNAM (not real, returns stuff like “DETROIT MI CALL”)
  • Company Type (Returns type of number, such as “WIRELESS” or “RBOC”)

The intent is to offer all but the real CNAM at $0.0001/dip (that’s one hundreth of a cent). (CNAM is subject to a $0.05/dip charge. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s what I can get to start. Prices may fall later.) It would be postpay, nothing payable until the bill reaches at least $5. A short application would be required to be filled out and faxed, permitting electronic drafts against your checking account, and would be subject to my approval based both on volume and credit status (I don’t have access to the bureaus so I may ask for additional information to determine creditworthiness).

There would be no setup fees or minimum volume, though as mentioned before, there is a minimum you must reach before I will bill, because it is not economical to bill below $5.

Applications are provided to pull this data in AGI format for use in asterisk. The requests are in UDP in plain text, and I will provide specs if you want to write your own client.

If you are interested, please email paul@telcodata.us.

Thanks!

I’ve now made two changes to how the site handles company names.

I’ve now merged the disparate ways the site was displaying names. Thousands block company names were often formatted different than the normal ten-thousands block data. This is because the data comes from two seperate sources.

This has now been rectified.

The other change is that the company that currently owns the company is shown below the normal name in the telco view (npa-nxx lookup). I haven’t added this to the other pages on the site yet, though I plan to.

One may ask: “Why do you have it say “Ameritech Michigan” at all, rather than SBC, AT&T, at&t, or whatever they’re calling themselves this week?”. The reason is simple – They still legally operate under the name they are licensed under. Since in michigan, for example, they are licensed as “Ameritech Michigan”, and have not filed for any updates in their company’s name with the proper authorities, they’re still called “Ameritech Michigan”, and still operate as their own company in many respects.

The parent company owns all these little companies, and while they are merged in the traditional business sense, they do exist in some respects as seperate entities for regulatory purposes. That’s why they still show their company’s main name. Also, in things like Nextel and Sprint, I could call them both sprint, but that would not help you figure out which of the two business units they run as, since they really are two companies internally, basically (as are Cingular wireless and the old AT&T wireless, believe me, I’ve spent enough time on hold to find this out the hard way. 🙂 )

Anyway, I’m looking for comments on the implementation. Do you like it? Let me know. Do you hate it? Let me know (and say why).

Okay, so I embarked on a really ambitious project of accumulating the text messaging email domains for almost any phone carrier anyone’s ever heard of these days. It took me the greater part of the weekend. Because it took my weekend and tons of effort, I don’t want to just give it away, at least in a fully functional form that others can just rip off and use for their own profit motives without remuneration to me.

I do, however, want to let people sample the effectiveness of it, and make it so the average joe can take advantage of it without letting big business get rich off it. I like providing things for free to the little guy, to let them catch up and become the big guy someday, not to mention it’s great to let my services speak for themselves.

Now the question arises as follows: What’s the most useful way to let people send text messages, but make it so others can’t abuse my services for things like mobile spam, or high volume business use? Also of note is number portability. This is the huge problem going forward, as people port their numbers around, I don’t know what carrier a specific number is on anymore. The only place this exists is in the SS7 LIDB, which I don’t have access to (though if I found a way, I’d happily pay reasonable rates to get access to it). This service, when I finish coding it, will be useful to a great majority of the population, because a huge percentage of people do not port their numbers. But there’s going to be a measurable percentage of the population who find themselves unable to get messages from my free users and subscribers because they ported their number. I don’t want to place anyone in a digital ghetto, but I have no real good way to go about checking for this. 🙁

So I’m looking for suggestions to find out what carrier someone may have on the per-number level (even if not free, so long as I can access it using standard PC hardware running Linux – I’m not afraid of writing my own software to query a database if the communications specs are open), or should I let people come to my site and inform me they switched carriers (which seems like a really crappy way of doing this). I’ve considered getting another sim and letting people deliver messages over the real cell phone networks on request, and basically passing the billing through with markup. But that also seems silly. Why does text messaging have to be such a corundrum? I mean, seriously. Ugh. If you silly cell networks would make it easier on us computer folk, we promise we will help you make more money off your subscribers! They want services we provide. Help them get to us using ways you can bill them for.

I’m just going to stop now and ask for suggestions before I get off on a huge rant about the ridiculousness that the entire PSTN side of the telecommunications industry has about “proprietary data” and all that jazz. To protect your customer data is one thing, to make it harder for people to use services YOU BILL FOR is yet another thing entirely. I have no problems signing up to all kinds of weird NDAs and other encumbering documents to protect the data, just don’t make it any harder on us. Bill the customer, not us. If you bill us both for a service we all know costs almost nothing to provide, the people, us and your customers, will simply find a way to communicate without you, you dig?

Folks, I’m really looking for some help here, maybe a suggestion. A year ago (or two or so) I got this ambitious idea to combine the ideas of photographs of central offices, street addresses, and maybe even a spot of history about the office into a page. I wrote all the backend, and even a bit of a frontend for this. However, I didn’t properly advertise the fact I need contributors. So here’s the deal – If you can contribute to this project, and can supply at least, as a general rule, 3-5 COs worth of information every month (or mass update a ton, I really don’t care), I’d be happy to hook you up with some custom data, or a paid account, or whatever. You help me, I help you, and we do something awesome together. If you want recognition, I’d be happy to list you on my admittedly needing better prominence credits page. If you don’t want recognition, and instead want anonymity, I’m totally understanding of that too. I’ll happily do business with a pseudonym in this manner. Pick a pen name, create a gmail account or whatever for it, and you can email me the pictures, or what have you. Don’t let the history of telecom fade due to fear of reprisal.

I don’t intend to sell the photos or historical data, so there shouldn’t be any fear that you’re putting effort into something that I’ll ultimately make a profit off at your expense and free labor. I’m seriously considering a bounty for some information that I do intend to sell (namely the street addresses and switch information I am currently missing.) If you’re interested in being my data mercenary, comment here or drop me an email at paul@telcodata.us and we can work something out.